One of the most important relationships you can have as an independent agency is not with your clients, and not with your suppliers. Crucial to your success (and your happiness) is your relationship with your host agency.
Above all, it’s a two-way street. Of course your host supplies you with an array of back office assistance, supplier negotiations and marketing tools. But it’s up to you to engage with them, follow their protocols, read and listen to what they have to say to you and your colleagues and provide feedback when it’s requested.
Here at Vision we’ve found that the successful independent travel agents are those engage with us. They participate and they are in constant touch with us so chances are they hear first about the upcoming opportunities and promotions. They ask questions and receive guidance. And when a supplier asks us to track the results of a special offer and wants to know what the ITAs did in the way of promotional efforts, they respond. (So the host agency can continue to negotiate these special deals.) These agents invest time and money to go on fams, knowing that nothing sells like product knowledge and personal experience.
Participation is paramount if you want to be successful, especially since many of you are working in the sometimes isolated environment of the home-based agent.
It’s kind of like joining a gym. Think why you chose your host agency in the first place – not just about the nuts and bolts of what equipment they had, but how they were going to make a new, more successful you. You’ve got to go to the gym regularly to see those results!
Are you a home-based agent?
This article appears in Sphere, Travelweek’s monthly e-newsletter for home-based agents.
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